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Fake COVID-19 contact tracking apps install banking trojans

Researchers from California-based IS company Anomali have discovered 12 fake COVID-19 patient contact tracking apps posing as official programs.

Attackers are actively exploiting the panic around the coronavirus pandemic to trick users into revealing their credentials.

“Fake applications are designed to download and install malware (Anubis, SpyNote, etc.) onto devices and steal users’ financial and confidential data. Criminals do not distribute their programs through official stores such as the Google Play Store, but do so through other applications, third-party stores and websites”, — said Anomali researchers.

Anubis malware is a banking Trojan for Android devices that uses overlays to access infected devices and steal user credentials. Malware exists since at least 2017 and masks itself as legitimate applications.

The main functions of the program are access to SMS messages, location, contact list, system information, injections into various banking and social applications to collect confidential information, keylogging, recording phone calls, etc.

SpyNote is also an Android Trojan designed to steal data from infected devices. The trojan was first discovered in December 2016. The main functions of the program are access to SMS, GPS data, contacts, making calls from the victim’s number, checking browser history, checking installed applications, accessing device information, etc.

“Fake applications are distributed in Armenia, Brazil, India, Colombia, Indonesia, Iran, Italy, Kyrgyzstan, Russia and Singapore, and some of them impersonate official government programs”, – say the experts.

COVID-19 patient contact tracking applications are being developed in many countries. For example, as part of the fight against the spread of coronavirus infection, the Qatar government has obliged citizens and residents of the country to install a similar application on their mobile devices to track contacts with infected people.

In April of this year, France joined to the list of countries that use digital technology in the fight against the spread of coronavirus. French experts are working on the creation of the StopCovid mobile application, which will use Bluetooth to identify the chain of infection and warn the user if a sick person is nearby.

Let me remind you that Google Maps helps users protect users from COVID-19.

About Vladimir Krasnogolovy

Vladimir is a technical specialist who loves giving qualified advices and tips on GridinSoft's products. He's available 24/7 to assist you in any question regarding internet security.

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